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back to article HTC: $8 per phone for Apple patents? We're not CRAZY!

HTC has rubbished claims that it's paying $6 to $8 per Android phone to keep Apple off its back. The Taiwanese firm reached a settlement for its patent spats with the fruity firm earlier this month, signing a 10-year cross-licensing deal with its one-time enemy. Naturally, neither firm would say what exactly was being paid to …

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Holmes

Cunning

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Overpriced

I've got all my family free phones for christmas...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced

So?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced

Free as in subsidised by your network provider as part of your tariff = not free.

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Trollface

Re: Overpriced

no, he stole them from the lockers at the gym

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Overpriced

Definately needed :trollface:

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Anonymous Coward

Samsung should just pay up the $1bn+, say sorry and do a deal - then we can all just get along.

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RE: Samsung should just pay up

Perfect way to end all the troubles. Just give in to extortion and be done with it. Then pay up again next month and the month after that ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: Samsung should just pay up

As one of the ruling families in S. Korea, some would say Shamsung aren't used to being the ones who pay out

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Thumb Down

extortion?

you want to read up about Intellectual Ventures in the US if you want to find out about such practices around patents. The link is on another El Reg page.

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Anonymous Coward

Fixed

"I believe we have a very, very happy good settlement and a good happy ending"

There - fixed it for you. ;)

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Too many iwitnesses

to get away with simple arrogance posing.

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Why Should it Matter?

Why should the HTC deal have any bearing whatsoever? We're not talking FRAND patents here. If the patents are valid, not saying they are, then Apple should have the right to licence them to whoever they wish. I think the long and short of it is that Apple don't want to licence them to Samsung for any amount of money.

Whether this is fair or ethical is largely irrelevant, you couldn't force Dyson to licence its tech to Hoover if it decided to do a deal with Panasonic.

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Re: Why Should it Matter?

Because apple argued in court that it isnt about the money its apple tech and noone can have it. If apple then go and licence HTC then this statement is null and void. Samsung can go back to court, get the 1bn thrown out and request a licence deal anyway. By that time it will be after christmas and new products will be out - therefore rendering judgement on old tech pointless.

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Anonymous Coward

@Vehlin - Re: Why Should it Matter?

Leave this to the lawyers, mate! I took note of your opinion but law works differently. In the mean time you can search the net to get yourself familiar with this judicial saga but take my advice and stick with court official documents only.

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@danny 14

Apple proved in court that Samsung ripped off it's IP, the fact that HTC licenced some IP just proves that HTC belives Apple owns that IP. That won't help Samsung avoid having to pay Apple. Pointing to HTC and saying "see they are paying Apple so we shouldn't have too" wont get them far.

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Re: @danny 14

Until the post verdict motions are heard in court, Apple has not proved a damn thing. One could argue that Apple won't have proved anything until the final appeal is finished. Still, what we DO know is that the process by which the jury decided whether Apple had proved anything was flawed. We don't know if the flaw was fatal. We also don't yet know if Apple's patent that they used to "win" is valid.

As others have noted, the HTC license proves that at least some of Apple filings to the court aren't true, and (more to the point) at the time Apple made those filings, Apple must have known they were not true. As a general rule, courts dislike people lying to them, so Apple may be wise to expect to be spanked by the court, much as they were spanked by the British court when Apple decided to lie about the state of their campaign against Samsung's products.

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@Danny14

Samsung can go back to court, get the 1bn thrown out and request a licence deal anyway.

Uh, no, they can't. Assume for a moment that the patents in question are judged to be valid. Neither Samsung nor the court can force Apple to license their patents at any price. It is totally up to Apple whether or not to do so. They can license to HTC for $8 and to RIM for for free if they choose, but still refuse to license to Samsung at any price. It is totally 100% up to them.

The reason is because these are not FRAND patents. These are not part of a standard where Apple put them forth in standardization meetings in the same way that 3G, LTE, h.264, and other standards were made. FRAND patent licensing is compulsory. For any other patent it is not.

The reason Samsung wants the HTC agreement made public is so they can get the damages knocked down, so they can tell the court for example that Apple licensed these patents for only $1/phone and we've sold 60 million infringing phones, so the damages should be only $60 million. That gets the damages knocked down, but Apple is under no obligation to license future phones at that or any price, and would still be able to block their sale. The winning strategy for Samsung is to have the patents invalidated or the jury verdict overturned, but they also simultaneously want to get the damages knocked down in case they do not succeed there.

Meantime their software engineers are no doubt working to design around the patents Apple has asserted so they're ready to deploy updated software in case the verdict is upheld. Then if Apple thinks the devices are STILL infringing they'd have to go back to the court and try to prove that to block them. And Samsung could again try to design around them. It is sort of like playing whack a mole, which is why companies usually end up settling and licensing as only rarely does one party get true satisfaction out of this process.

Samsung is also likely interested to know the details of the agreement to gain insight into their competitor, HTC. If HTC licensed Apple's patents cheap Samsung wants to know, and hopefully to learn what HTC might have had on Apple to make them willing to give up a good deal. On the other hand, if HTC's CEO is not being truthful, and HTC is actually paying Apple $18/phone, Samsung would want to know that too, as it tells them they potentially have a huge cost advantage over HTC if they are able get all of Apple's patents knocked down (because HTC would still be paying to license them even if they are later invalidated...that's how most such agreements are written)

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To the victor goes the license

"I think that these estimates are baseless and very, very wrong. It is a outrageous number, but I'm not going to comment anything on a specific number. I believe we have a very, very happy settlement and a good ending,"

Does that really sound like a statement from a company which came out of negotiations behind?

Who was it that suggested HTC were paying Apple anyway? An "analyst" - someone paid to make wild guesses, and not anyone associated with the settlement, the negotiations, or either company.

So here's my "analysis", as an industry watcher: HTC won. If anyone is paying out hard cash (and I doubt anyone is), it's Apple.

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Bronze badge

Re: To the victor goes the license

Or he is choosing his words so as not to affect the shareprice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To the victor goes the license

What if Apple was looking for something else than money ? How about persuading HTC to stop making Android phones ?

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Devil

Microsoft

MS says Android infringes their patents so HTC pay up, depending on who you read, $5-$10 per phone.

They're not coy about this so have they realised that they're being taken for a ride by MS and are refusing to let Apple do the same?

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Unhappy

only a 'good ending?'

Chou: ..."I believe we have a very, very happy settlement and a good ending,"

Poor guy. If only the deal could have concluded with a good settlement and a happy ending.

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Trollface

Samsung has a point. For the very simple reason that........................

"Evidence of Apple’s licensing of patents-in-suit weighs against any finding that monetary relief is inadequate by demonstrating Apple’s willingness to forego exclusivity in exchange for money," Samsung said in its court filing."Evidence of Apple’s licensing of these patents would also undermine Apple’s assertion in its reply — made only a day before announcement of the HTC license — that its patents are unavailable for licensing to competitors."

......................we know from court filings related to Apple versus Samsung that Cupertino were demanding between 30 and 40 dollars per device as their price for any settlement* with Samsung. If HTC have been permitted to settle for considerably less than that (especially given the Fruit Company's usual "no licensing" policy) then it is absolutely a legitimate question for Samsung's legal team to pose.

*Settlement offer as in "drop pants, bend over and no, you can't use any Vaseline".

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mrd
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Not the same case

They're not the same case, not for the same reasons, not to the same extents, and finally because they managed to avoid court.

A company can't go to court, lose, have a large penalty to pay and then after all that demand the same treatment as a company that avoided court and negotiated a settlement, for a different set of circumstances.

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"...a 10-year cross-licensing deal..."

IANAL but based on the quote in the title above, this means that the HTC/Apple deal could mean anything from HTC paying more per phone to Apple than suggested down to nothing or even the other way 'round, ie Apple paying HTC,

The monetary value of any deal reached is irrelevant if both sides have patents to "swap". Any cash exchanged is merely the agreed upon difference in the perceived/negotiated difference in value of any "swapped" patents.

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Anonymous Coward

stop buying phones for around 3-5 years and let them all sue each other into bankruptcy. We need some open source phones, enough of this.

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Anonymous Coward

Extortion rackets.

How much did HTC pay to the Microsoft extortion racket?

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